Highlights from the launch of the exhibition, Talanoa: Stories of the Fiji Community
Image: Ben Healley
Source: Museum Victoria
Victoria’s Fiji community recently celebrated its diversity at a lively event to mark the opening of the new exhibition, Talanoa: Stories of the Fiji Community at the Immigration Museum.
Attended by more than 200 community members, the launch event included blessings from Hindu, Muslim and Christian faith leaders, as well as a traditional Yaqona (Kava) ceremony and performances from Fijian, Rotuman and Fiji-Indian community performance groups.
Developed collaboratively by the Fiji community and the Immigration Museum, the exhibition is the latest in the Community Gallery program. Talanoa (the Fijian word for “storytelling”) explores the diversity of the Fiji community, as well as the values and beliefs that unite those born in Fiji.
“Storytelling is an integral part of life both here and in Fiji,” says Briony Galligan, Acting Manager of Community Exhibitions for the Immigration Museum. “This new exhibition brings together individuals and groups from the Fijian, Rotuman and Fiji-Indian communities to tell the story of how and why Fiji-born people came to Victoria and how they sustain an ongoing connection with Fiji.”
“Through significant objects, photographs and text, the Talanoa exhibition explores the growth of the Fiji community in Victoria, and how a diverse community identity has been shaped by three themes of shared importance: sport, religion and art. There are also experiences that are unique to the different cultural groups, for example, the exhibition explores how and why education, business and entrepreneurship is important to Fiji Indians.”
Numbering almost 10,000 people, the Fiji community of Victoria is characterised by its diversity, embracing Fijian, Rotuman, Fiji-Indian, Fiji-Chinese and Fiji-born children of expatriate Australians and British. The community includes Christians, Hindus and Muslims, and shares its traditions through dance, art and the ever-important sports of rugby and soccer.
Talanoa: Stories of the Fiji Community is showing at the Immigration Museum until the end of July.